Regular readers may remember that our garden has been rather a bone of contention in the last few months.
We moved into the house in February, at which time the house was a building site, and the entire garden was under a blanket of snow, which meant that even if we had wanted to do anything with it, we couldn’t.
Roll on a few months and we found ourselves arguing quite a lot about exactly what to do with it. We had, as Mrs. Merton off the telly used to say, ‘a heated debate’, which rumbled on for quite some time.
We got advice from various people, most of which we ignored, and ended up basically mowing it, emptying out a lot of the crap the last owner had left lying around, and hacking back a few brambles.
Since then we have pretty much ignored it.
It is quite a large garden, although not terribly exciting to look at. Mostly it is grass. There are quite a few trees, and a hot tub stranded in a pile of scrub land to one side, and that’s about it. There isn’t even a shed.
Which breaks Jason’s heart.
This weekend we had to do some garden related stuff. We had let the grass grow rather long and the brambles were making a fierce come back, and it was all a bit wilderness like, but not in a good way.
Yesterday we strimmed and mowed, hacked and weeded, and then I decided that if I didn’t do something fairly drastic, we would continue ignoring the fact that we had to get off our backsides and do something with it, so I started unearthing a path, of which two paving slabs were visible.
I managed to dig up about eight feet of path, and chop down a lot of brambles along the way.
It was not pretty. In fact, you could go so far as to say that by the time I had finished yesterday you could see that I was definitely following the ‘scorched earth’ school of gardening.
This morning we took eight bags of garden waste to the tip.
This afternoon I decided to continue. I figured that if I just started digging big holes, eventually Jason would get so sick of the fact that his garden was full of holes he would get off the garden design shaped fence he has currently been sitting on, and commit to doing something, even if only filling in all the holes, possibly after pushing me into one of them.
Which would be progress, right?
I find that this theory of home maintenance is rather effective in such situations. When UE and I moved into our first home together in London, the carpets were so hideous I could not live with them. UE didn’t see the problem. I sent him out to buy some supplies and ripped up all the carpets while he was gone. By the time he was back I was already levering up the gripper rod.
Similarly, when we bought our second home, I didn’t like the wall paper in any of the rooms. We had to have the whole house rewired, and the electrician asked me to mark where on the walls I wanted all the new sockets to go, so I went and bought some spray paint in lurid colours and sprayed all over the walls to show him where the sockets would go. This mean that the wallpaper didn’t last too long after the electrician had finished.
I recommend this plan of action to you as a fail safe way of getting action to happen in situations where one of the parties involved declare things like: ‘It’s not too bad.’ or ‘I could live with that for a bit.’ If you know you definitely can’t live with it, then merely make the situation worse so that they can’t live with it either.
Eventually, this afternoon, the whole family got involved, hacking large lumps of earth out of the side of a wilderness of scrub that has clearly been used over the years for dumping building waste, and burning things.
The ground is, to use a technical term, coined by Alan Titchmarsh, ‘a bastard’.
It is about 80% clay, 10% tree roots, 5% stones and 5% random burned stuff.
I found half a pair of glasses at one point.
Then I got a bit nervous that I would find the rest of the glasses, attached to a head.
I am still not entirely sure that the garden isn’t full of bodies.
We have yet to find any, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be some. Which adds a certain frisson to the whole endeavour.
Jason is now resigned to the fact that we are doing the garden though, which means the hours of back breaking toil and the palm full of blisters was so worth it.
He is cheering himself up by looking at hiring rotivators and mini diggers.
I have not mentioned that he will have to manhandle/drive them through the house in order to get them into the garden. I have decided to let him indulge his fantasies, and we will cross the ‘how the hell do we get it in the garden’ hurdle afterwards.